by Olena

Best Ever Healthy Zucchini Brownies

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Olena Osipov
5 from 209 votes

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Rich and delicious Healthy Zucchini Brownies made with shredded zucchini, whole wheat flour, and no refined sugar. Super moist and fudgy, no one even realizes that there is two cups of zucchini packed into the recipe!

We love healthy zucchini recipes around here and that includes baked goods like healthy zucchini bread and healthy zucchini muffins.

Three healthy zucchini brownies stacked on top of each other.

These zucchini brownies are pure delight! Fudgy, healthy and easy. They taste like real brownies while made with whole foods perfect for even midday healthy snacks!

Because zucchini is seasonal but the love for brownies can be year round, I make zucchini brownies and no bake brownies during summer months.

Then in the winter, you can find me cooking batches of Instant Pot black beans and whipping up black bean brownies. And no one complains, when I make almond flour brownies, either!

Everyone in my household was particularly excited for the remake of healthy brownie recipe with zucchini. Kids want to eat zucchini. Pinch me. 🙂

Healthy zucchini brownies on a platter.

This healthy zucchini dessert has the best simple yet clean ingredients. In fact, you could almost get away with eating these at every meal.

Plus, they are so easy to make! No wringing out your shredded zucchini for hours, just a quick squeeze and into the bowl they go. And did I mention, you can make this all in one bowl?

They actually get fudgier the next day (cue the swoon!) and can be stored in the refrigerator up to a week, although ours never last that long!

Ingredients for Healthy Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini, whole wheat flour, maple syrup, cacao powder, coconut oil, egg, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract.

Zucchini is the perfect vegetable to sneak into desserts because of both its mild taste and high water ratio keeps your brownies moist without ever fear of being dry! 

  • Zucchini: We will be adding a full 2 cups of shredded zucchini, talk about nourishing!
  • Egg: For binding and holding these brownies together.
  • Whole wheat or spelt flour: You can use only whole wheat or spelt flour. Any gluten free flour will not work because this zucchini brownie recipe relies on gluten in dough to rise. All purpose flour acts differently than whole wheat flour too.
  • Maple syrup: I love to use this natural sweetener in baked goods because its flavor is mild without overpowering.
  • Coconut oil: I find coconut oil best to use because it is solid. Zucchini brownies will be a tad more fudgy as they cool and oil becomes solid again after baking. Plus, that means these are dairy free!
  • Cacao powder: A superfood full of antioxidants and nutrients. Can use cocoa powder too.

Looking for more healthy chocolate desserts? Try coconut oil fudge or healthy chocolate coconut balls.

Substitutions

Here are some common substitutions if you happen to be out of an ingredient!

  • Liquid sweetener: You can use any other liquid sweetener like honey, agave, brown rice syrup. Baking is a science and the ratio of dry to liquid is important and can’t be offset.
  • Oil: You can use any mild tasting oil like avocado oil, however best results are with coconut oil!
  • Cacao powder: More common unsweetened cocoa powder is OK. It’ more processed but can be found easily at any grocer.
  • Other flour: Unfortunately for this recipe, no. If all you have is coconut flour, make these chocolate coconut flour muffins, instead.
  • Egg: Unfortunately, using applesauce instead of egg results in a cake like zucchini brownie. This recipe needs an egg! You may like this healthy chocolate cake, too!
  • Chocolate chips: Not a substitution but if desired, sprinkle chocolate chips on top before baking.

How to Make Healthy Zucchini Brownies

This recipe comes together in one bowl, but all zucchini recipes use different techniques, so please read.

Prep baking dish: I highly recommend to line dish with parchment paper for easy removal.

Shredded zucchini in a colander placed in a sink.

Prep zucchini by shredding on medium size hole side of grater and giving a gentle squeeze. Set aside in colander while preparing remaining ingredients.

Do not salt zucchini or squeeze excessively to remove excess water. The water in the zucchini is what gives these brownies their moist fudgy texture!

Liquid ingredients with cocoa powder in a bowl with whisk.

Liquids: Measure oil in liquid state. I recommend not to make oil very hot so it doesn’t “cook” the egg in batter.

Whisk all liquids first, and then add and whisk your leavening agents and cacao powder until “chocolate sauce” consistency.

Shredded zucchini on top of liquid brownie batter with green spatula.

Fold in shredded zucchini: Gently stir your previously set aside shredded zucchini.

Stirring flour into brownie batter with green spatula in glass bowl.

Add flour: Mix until just combined.

Healthy zucchini brownie batter in a baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Bake: Bake for 28 minutes at 375 degrees F preheated oven. Top should be soft and glossy and the centre not too jiggly.

Do not overbake brownies! They might seem slightly undercooked when you test them. If you insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies pan it should come out with some damp crumbs attached. If you shake the pan and center is not wiggly, your zucchini fudgy brownies are set!

Cool properly: Let brownies cool in the pan for about an hour. Then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely. If you have patience, brownies become fudgier next day.

Health zucchini brownies cut into squares on counter with one browning missing.

Make a healthy brownie sundae! Cut brownies into 16 squares and enjoy on their own or a dollop of vegan vanilla ice cream or healthy chocolate ice cream.

Tips for Baking with Zucchini

  • Use large or small zucchini: The size of the zucchini doesn’t matter, just the amount.
  • Measuring: Do not overpack your measuring cup with zucchini because even extra 1/4 cup increases baking time.
  • A word about baseball bat sized zucchini: Please do remove large seeds before grating as they could have a bitter taste!
  • Don’t peel the zucchini: It’s so thin no one will notice plus researchers say it has the highest level of antioxidants. Yeah!
  • Follow the recipe: All zucchini recipes will differ how they prep the zucchini. For this recipe, give zucchini only a small squeeze to release some water.

FAQs

What makes these brownies fudgy?

A perfect fudgy brownie is moist and gooey and resembles a fudge like texture! When you add more flour and a leavening agent such as baking powder, you will have a cake like brownie.

This recipe uses only 1 cup flour, no baking powder and quite an abundance of moist ingredients (coconut oil, zucchini, eggs) which results in a healthy fudgy brownie!

Can I taste the zucchini in zucchini brownies?

No you can’t! That is the beauty of zucchini brownies. You may also like to make these healthy banana zucchini muffins.

Should I weigh my zucchini before adding to the recipe?

You could, but you don’t need to! Zucchini is not like flour in that it will throw off recipe by much if you use a little more/little less. Just don’t pack zucchini tightly and you will be fine!

Can I double the recipe?

Definitely and many readers have! You may need to increase the baking time by a few minutes, so keep an eye on your oven.

How to Store

Overnight: Zucchini brownies taste even better the next day as they settle and cool off. That’s when brownies become really fudgy as coconut oil solidifies and settles.

At first brownies might look like cake. I leave them on a plate covered with kitchen towel on the counter overnight.

Past 24 hrs mark: In a glass airtight container, in a cool dry place for up to 4 days. If it’s hot outside, refrigerate for up to a week.

Freezing: Freeze brownies in an airtight container for up to 3 – 4 months. I would be surprised if you have any left to freeze. 🙂

Crust? There is no such obvious crust on healthy brownies as with their butter and sugar counterpart. However, if you cut and place brownies on a plate, their sides and edges will dry up a bit overnight.

More Healthy Zucchini Recipes

Need even more zucchini recipes? Browse our collection of 45 healthy zucchini recipes!

Close up of healthy zucchini brownies.
Best Ever Healthy Zucchini Brownies

Best Ever Healthy Zucchini Brownies

Rich and delicious Healthy Zucchini Brownies made with shredded zucchini, whole wheat flour, and no refined sugar. Super moist and fudgy!
4.97 from 209 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 16 brownies
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place zucchini in a colander while you are getting other ingredients ready.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 8 x 8 baking dish with unbleached parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, add egg, oil, maple syrup and pure vanilla extract; whisk to combine.
  • Add cacao powder, baking soda and salt; whisk until well mixed.
  • Give zucchini a gentle squeeze but do not ring out completely, add to a bowl and stir.
  • Add flour and mix gently until combined.
  • Transfer batter into prepared baking dish and level with spatula. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until the centre is barely jiggly. Do not over bake as brownies will have more of a cake consistency. A toothpick inserted has to come out somewhat not clean. If centre is too jiggly bake a bit more – ovens vary.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for about an hour. Lift by the parchment paper flaps and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely. Then cut into 16 squares and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Store 1st day: Brownies become fudgier the next day, especially if stored cut up and separated or refrigerated. I leave them on a plate covered with kitchen towel on a counter overnight.
  • Store past 24 hrs: In a glass airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 4 days. If it’s hot outside, refrigerate for up to a week. Freeze for up to 3 – 4 months.
  • Flour: You can use only whole wheat or spelt flour. Any gluten free flour will not work because it doesn’t have gluten in it. All purpose flour acts differently than whole wheat flour, too. 
  • Maple syrup: You can replace only with liquid sweetener like honey, agave, or brown rice syrup.
  • Coconut oil: You can use any mild tasting oil like avocado oil or your favorite. One thing though. Because coconut oil is solid, zucchini brownies will be a tad more fudgy as it cools down and becomes solid again after baking.
  • Cacao powder: More common cocoa powder is okay to use.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 77mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g

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  1. Can you add a few tablespoons of water to the liquid ingredients eggs, oil, vanilla extract and replace liquid sugar for granulated sugar? Might this work as well?

    1. It has not been tested as such and water is a bit different than liquid sugar texture wise, so not sure it would, if you try let us know.

  2. 5 stars
    We made these yesterday. Ate half the pan. We promised my daughter one to try. Nope, I packed them up and hid them in the freezer for the weekend. We’ll make another batch on Monday. Oh My Goodness!! These are the best EVER!!! We added 1/2 walnuts.

  3. 5 stars
    Ok, these are AMAZING!! So light, moist, and delicious! Can’t even tell they’re healthy 😍

    I made a few tiny tweaks only because I had to make do with what I had. For the sweetener, I used my last 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup and the other 1/4 cup I subbed with the Mocha Skinny Syrups. That cut about 210 calories out, which I made up for with 3 tbsp of chocolate chips sprinkled on top before baking (highly recommed).

    I also used regular all purpose flour because I can’t find whole wheat flour anywhere near me right now. They were amazing!! Will definitely be making again!

  4. Thank you for the recipe. I made them this morning. I will be making them again, in fact many more times. It is so nice to know that we can enjoy brownies with all these healthier ingredients!!

  5. 5 stars
    Just saying… I did try this with Gluten Free flour and it turned out fine! Delicious. And the kids loved it.

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